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Celebrate Juneteenth this Sunday, June 18th, 2023, in Elizabeth’s Juneteenth Parade. The Parade is starting at 1pm at the Veterans Memorial Waterfront and ending at the First Presbyterian Church. At 3pm, there will be the unveiling of the 313+ Monument.



Be sure to wear comfortable footwear, Juneteenth t-shirts or African attire to the march.
What is Juneteenth actually celebrating?

Juneteenth celebrates the day that enslaved people in Texas were told they were free. This happened on June 19, 1865.

Why is it called Juneteenth?

Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates when slavery ended in America. Some people also call it Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day. The name “Juneteenth” comes from the month and day that the holiday happens, which is June 19th.

What does the Juneteenth symbol mean?

The Juneteenth flag has a star that is new and bursting on the horizon. The red, white, and blue colors show that American slaves and their descendants include everyone. This new star represents freedom for all people.

When did Juneteenth become a federal (national) holiday in the U.S.?

On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, became a federal holiday in the United States. The historic bill, officially titled the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, was signed into law by President Joe Biden. This marked the recognition and commemoration of June 19th, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of slavery and enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, two and a half years after it had been issued. The federal recognition of Juneteenth as a holiday serves as a reminder of the enduring struggle for freedom, the celebration of African American heritage and achievement, and the ongoing pursuit of equality and justice for all.

Excerpted and adapted from: Freelancer, W. (2023). Juneteenth Facts & Worksheets. KidsKonnect. Used with permission.

Juneteenth and the Color Red

Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture

Each year when my family celebrates Juneteenth, our flyers boldly request that each quest bring something “Red.” We then add examples, like red soda pop, watermelon, apples, or even red beans. Folks bring these items without much thinking about their origin. In fact, the roots of the symbolic efficacy of the color red can be traced to West Africa, where it has been associated with strength, spirituality, life, and death. Furthermore, culinary historians, trace the color to certain foods that traveled to the Americas along with the Africans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, such as hibiscus and the kola nut.
So, this year at Juneteenth, as you take a long swallow from a cool drink of hibiscus iced tea, or red punch, remember the ancestors who sacrificed, remember the blood shed in the struggle, remember the collective strength of people of the African diaspora, and finally remember the spirituality and transcendent joy that enabled us to overcome.
~ Kelly Navies, museum specialist and oral historian